So there’s good news and bad news from Hollywood this week.
First, the Good News
The good news is that a documentary about people with intellectual disabilities was nominated for an Emmy. “Monica and David”, an HBO film about two people with Down’s Syndrome who get married, also won Best Documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival.
This is definitely one I’d like to see. In my experience, couples where both people have intellectual disabilities are mainly characterized by people without disabilities as “cute” (and not in a “Yeah, they make a cute couple,” way, but the more patronizing “Awwww, isn’t that cute!” way). Hopefully this film will help to legitimize these adult relationships, where the people involved deal with adult issues and make commitments, in the eyes of society.
And Then, the Bad News
And, on the other end of the spectrum, the producers of “The Change-Up”, a movie released on August 5 starring Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds, have sent shock waves through the disability community. The controversy stems from a bit of dialogue, where Ryan Reynolds’ character observes about Jason Bateman’s character’s twin boys:
“Why aren’t they talking yet? Are they retarded or something?” and then, “I don’t know…this one looks a little Downsy.”
Kudos to the Special Olympics for taking this and absolutely running with it. I remember some uproar about the liberal use of “retard” in “Tropic Thunder” a few years back, and the Special Olympics administrators have obviously had enough of this:
And rightfully so.
You guys know how I feel about this. Even if you don’t agree with me, check out what the Special Olympics blog entry has to say. You may change your mind when you hear what they have to say.
Thank you to Elizabeth McClung at “Screw Bronze!” (http://elizabethmcclung.blogspot.com/) for putting me on her blog roll. It’s very generous of her. 🙂